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Hi, new to this forum. I'm in the market for a new car. My Accord V6 Coupe is nice, but kinda boring to drive. I'm thinking about selling it and getting either an A4, IS300 or Altima. The A4 is probably not really a good comparison with the Altima, since it's more luxury than sporty, and to get the AWD, 3.0 sporty version it's probably going to cost like 12k more than the Altima. But I think I probably can get comparable IS300s and Altimas for difference of maybe 5-7k. The main thing I like about the IS is it's RWD and I've heard the handling is great. Altima is roomier and quick in the straights. Just looking for inputs from Altima owners. Did you guys think about getting the IS? Or some other car? What factor finally pushed you to getting the Altima. Thanks.
 

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I thought seriously about getting the IS300 (not a popular thing to say here). But, unless I could get a base one without a sunroof, I couldn't afford one, nor could I fit in one (I'm a tall 6'3"+). And no dealer would order me one, without a 20% deposit and a 4-6 month wait (not an option, since I needed a car).

Driving the IS, the car felt fast, but it worked hard to beat traffic. And I felt it was geared too short for comfortable long freeway trips. Compare this to the Altima, which has trouble not beating out traffic, even shifting at 2k rpm.

If it was my only car (and I didn't already have one just for autocrossing), I might have been swayed into buying the IS (it's a vastly superior autocross car), but it was still going to be about $9k more the way they are optioned here in LA.

The other thing is that it is fun having such a fast car that looks so innocent. And saving on insurance doesn't hurt either (my insurance company still thinks the Altima is a slow family car :) ).

I thought about looking at an A4 and a Passat, but the A4 gained a lot of weight with this generation, and $25k would only get me a 4-cyl. in either car.

And with the way Nissan is discounting the Maximas, they might also be worth a look (flame suit on). I didn't fit comfortably, and didn't like the rear suspension (the racer in me). But I would like the 6th gear and the LSD.

BTW, my previous car was a '98 Accord LX 5-spd (leased).
 

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Here's how I ended up buying the Altima:
In the summer, I read an article on the new Altima and was immediately hooked on this car. The car looked cool, sporty, and fun to drive. Plus, it had 240HP and was relatively inexpensive. So basically, the looks, power, and price won me over. So of course as soon as the Altima was introduced in Sept. I had to buy one so I did. The other car I was considering was the Acura RSX and Subaru WRX but I found those two cars too cramped for me.
 

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considered it

Too much money, too little car. Don't get me wrong, I love the car! It is over priced and under spaced for me. VERY tight inside, would have gotten the tls first. Alti is a bang for the buck, it is not cheap, but if you look at what your competition has to offer, it is DIRT CHEAP.
 

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IS300 vs Altima

Here was my take on the comparison...

Altima 3.5SE
Pros:
  • Cost ($5k less that the IS300)
  • Power (240 HP vs 225 HP) :p
  • Interior space
Cons:
  • FWD (Gotta get used to torque steer)
  • Aftermarket support (car is still too new)

IS300
Pros:
  • RWD
  • Handling (Got this thing sideways on the test drive... DRIFT!) :D
  • Aftermarket support (They're already doing 2JZ-GTE swaps!):eek:
Cons:
  • Cost (I wonder if it would have been cheaper as an Altezza)
  • Interior Space
  • Anemic power (considering the 240 produced by the Altima)

The Altima's handling characteristics can easily be changed w/ aftermarket suspension parts so consider that a non-factor.

The fact that you can fit a Supra motor into the IS300 was QUITE tempting, but since my car wasn't going to be an all out racer, what's the point.

Verdict: Like Wild Willy said... "Best bang for the Buck"
 

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I drove the A4, Passat, Jetta, a used 330 and the Accord before buying.

The A4 was fun to drive but lacks a little with the 1.8T. A very nice engine if you are looking for something good on gas while still having some pull. Without the Quattro the car was ok but still about 2k more than I paid for my 3.5SE. The leather is fake in the A4 until you get into a 6cyl. The wheels are ok but again not sexy until you get into the 6cyl. All around a nice car.

I drove all these cars several times and was on the fence. When I drove the Altima for the first time I was hooked. I drove 3 different Altimas that day and signed a deal after about 4 hours of driving and nogotiating. It's plain fun to drive.

The is300 looks nice but here in Canada they list for 10k more than what I paid so I never drove it. If I was 19, I might be in the is300 but I'm 30. I have a wife, two dogs and planning on kids. The Altima gives me room, safety, power, elegance, power, sportyness, a great drive and what else... oh ya power.

Reddy
 

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I actually looked at the BMW 3-series before the IS300. Kept hearing that commercial on the radio about BWM's being "more affordable now" - not true as I found out. Then I thought "Oh yeah, Lexus has a comparable car! What was it? The IS...something. I bet its just as good but cheaper!" So I go to the nearest Lexus dealership to check on the price. Walked in the showroom, saw a nice looking champagne colored one, saw the sticker at $38,000 then promptly left in disbelief. I didn't even check to see what options were on it but figured anything that small with that price tag can't be affordable on the low end trim. Felt the same way on the Audi A4 and its twin the Passat.

I was more than willing on this new car purchase to pay good amount of money for a great car. Thought my wife and I were going to settle on the 02 Camry XLE V6 until by chance I came across the Altima on the way to the Toyota dealership and was blown away. I just gawked in amazement on this car's looks, horsepower, room and its price. From the outside it looks VERY expensive, especially if you had no idea it was an Altima. The Interior is not the best in the class, but it suffices and is a vast progression from our previous car we owned. But the power, OH, THE POWER!!! WOOF! And the ROOM!!! An extra plus for our son and his car seat! Finally, the price! We could afford it!!!

So I say our deciding factors were Price, Power, Room, and Exterior Looks.
 

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I work at a Lexus dealership and therefore have driven many IS300's. They handle great and are lots of fun becaus of the rear wheel drive. The engine is nice, but lacks the power that the altima puts out. The interior is very nice, but is quite cramped. I have grown used to it, but at 6'3", I do have to put the seat all the way back. As far as price goes, look to spend around 33-36 on an IS300 vs 28 for a loaded altima. I do not like the manual transmission or the clutch on the IS300, but the 5-speed auto is very nice. Even though I am a huge fan of the reliability and service that come with a lexus, I would pick the altima bucause of the great price and the superior motor. If you can afford it, you might want to wait a couple months and look into the Infiniti G35.
 

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Obviously, tinou, you'll be getting a lot of pro-Altima responses to your question here. The two cars I considered with the Altima were the Maxima and the IS300.

The Maxima is a very nice car, but I've never cared much for the styling, it's at the end of its product cycle, and the beam axle really bothers me in a $25K+ sports sedan. So even with the heavy discount I could've gotten on the car, after I looked at the thing it sorta fell off the map.

The IS300 was much closer, and in fact I liked many things about the car better -- not the least of which is resale value. But in the end I felt the car was overpriced at $34K-plus and not large enough for my near-future family plans. I *loved* the RWD platform, even if it's just a gussied-up Altezza. The engine was very nice but a little weak-kneed in the torque department. And the styling is pretty groovy if you can get past the boy-racer-quasi-ricey look of the car.

I think if you're really into handling, want a chassis where the proper wheels are driven, and don't mind owning a smallish four-door without a large rear seat, the Lexus should be near the top of your shopping list. And the thing between the Altima and Maxima mostly comes down to styling preference -- if you like the Altima's exterior lines, can you live with the plain-jane and rather low-rent interior? Or if you prefer a better interior, is the Maxima's dowdy sheetmetal okay? (There's also the rear suspension issue, the standard HIDs on the Maxima, the nifty aluminum hood and decklid on the Altima, the Max's folding outside mirrors, the Altima's fake-but-still-really-appealing dual exhausts... you get the idea.)

Jarrod K. Wright
'02 3.5SE 5-speed
'98 SE 5-speed
 

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tinou said:


1. Hi, new to this forum. ...The main thing I like about the IS is it's RWD and I've heard the handling is great....

2. ... Altima is roomier and quick in the straights. Just looking for inputs from Altima owners.

3. Did you guys think about getting the IS?

4. Or some other car?

5. What factor finally pushed you to getting the Altima. Thanks.
1. yes, it may be, but we have a better forum... heheheh

2. true. very true. Alty is very spacious inside. If you need the room, it's there.

3. not for a second.

4. Mazda 626 ES, Mitsubishi Spyder GT

5. test drive :D :D :D :D :D
 

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I agree with the rest. Drove BMW's and MB's exclusively, always had a grocery getter for my wife which I drove to the supermarket or wherever I did not want to park the other car.

Saw the Altima, got it as the second car. Drove it for a week and summarily passed the MB to the wife. Bang for buck. I'm getting older and more practical. God help me. If Nissan keeps making products like this, I'll never buy a Teutonic sports sedan again.

Do yourself a favour - grab the Alty.

PS - I've never been a Nissan fan until the Alty.
 

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redfbird

I got to give it to you for the test drive, that is what had me with my first press on the gas. If the sales man were smart, they would go door to door and ask people to come out and test drive the new v6 from nissan. They would sell a TON. All you fot to do is drive this thing and you are hooked. I look forward to get called out to go to work, just so I can drive it.
 

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rwd

I love rwd, but what can you do. If this was rwd my wife could not drive it in the snow, not that she has even been behind the wheel yet, bu that is not the point. You speak of the g35 starting at 27K. But fully loaded like my Alti, you are going to be a far cry from 27. Hell Invoice on a full loaded Alti is still just about 27. Plus I love my assend, better thatn any sedan on the road. It would look better with fatter rubber, but I need the ride quality and hate to mess it up. I went form the factory 14's on my 91 mr2 to 17's, much different, got to bee too careful too. But, that is how that car should have came from the factory. 14's WTF
 
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